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Does BMI affect NIPT test results?

Does BMI affect NIPT test results?

The accuracy and reliability of Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) results are generally not impacted by an individual's body mass index (BMI). Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) examines the fragments of cell-free foetal DNA (cffDNA) found in the mother's bloodstream. These fragments originate from the placenta and are not influenced by the mother's BMI.

Nonetheless, there are certain factors associated with maternal BMI that can potentially have an indirect impact on the results of NIPT:

The amount of foetal DNA in the mother's bloodstream, called foetal fraction, can differ between individuals and may be affected by factors like the mother's BMI. Some studies have found a correlation between higher maternal BMI and lower foetal fraction. This relationship could potentially impact the ability of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) to provide a result. Advancements in NIPT technology have significantly reduced the impact of low foetal fraction.

Maternal BMI has the potential to impact the quality of the blood sample obtained for non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT). Having a higher maternal BMI can sometimes make it harder to get enough blood volume or lead to higher levels of maternal DNA, which can weaken the foetal DNA signal. Nevertheless, laboratories usually evaluate the quality of samples during NIPT analysis and may ask for more samples if needed to ensure accurate and dependable results.

Statistical adjustments are sometimes incorporated into NIPT algorithms to consider various factors, including maternal BMI. By making these adjustments, the accuracy of NIPT results is enhanced, ensuring reliable outcomes for a diverse range of maternal characteristics.

In general, although the mother's BMI may have certain indirect impacts on the results of NIPT, the existing evidence indicates that NIPT continues to be a very reliable screening test for identifying foetal chromosomal abnormalities, regardless of the mother's BMI.